Taking care of
your feet is just as important as taking care of your boots. It
doesn't matter if you have the right socks, the perfect boot, and your
on the perfect trail. Sooner or later if you do any large amount
of hiking, you will get a hot spot, a blister, a rub, a strain, or a
twisted ankle. We offer some sage advice on foot care.
your feet clean, dry, and in good condition. If your
boots get wet to the point you are swimming inside of them, it is
time to stop walking. Feet that are wet will blister very
quickly and can cause a number of skin problems. Make sure
to keep your toenails trimmed and filed to prevent both ingrown
toe nails and hang nails. If you are nursing a injury on
your foot, take the proper precautions to protect it. If you
have a serious injury like broken toes, you probably should
refrain from serious hiking until they have healed properly.
If your feet are sore listen to them.
mole skin or duct tape on blisters and hot spots. If you
get a blister or a hot spot while hiking, make sure to have a
supply of mole skin or duct tape. Mole skin is soft and has
been used for decades to protect feet while hiking. Duct
tape is also a popular remedy on hot spots because the adhesive on
the tape will not fail from natural sweating in your feet.
If you purchase either, make sure to buy high quality
products. Don't buy duct tape from the discount table, it
will tend to role up. If you have a popped or exploded
blister, you should never but duct tape on it. If you have
an area on your foot that regularly blisters or hot spots, you may
want to consider taping, mole skin, or duct taping the spot to aid
in preventing a problem.
hike alone for long distances. If you hike with a
partner you will never be faced with having to hike on a twisted
or sprained ankle. If you are hiking in bear country, you
should consider hiking in groups of four. In the even of a
severe injury like a sprained ankle, a person can stay with you
and the other two can return for help or move a vehicle to a
closer line to your point. If you are hiking alone and you
twist or sprain your ankle, do not unlace your boot.
The boot will help keep the swelling down, if you remove your boot
after a sprain you may not be able to get it back on!
switchbacks going up and side step going down steep terrain.
When hiking in steep terrain, do not take a straight approach
climbing up, putting tremendous pressure on your heels and
ankles. Zigzag up the incline if there is no trail, or use
the switchbacks if there is. When coming down a steep
incline, side step down the hill leaning toward the hill
side. This will distribute your weight across your foot
instead of on your toes, and if you fall down, you won't be
falling face down the steep angle.
safe procedures if you drain a blister. General medical
practice today recommends living with minor to moderate
blisters. Severe blisters should be drained. If you
decide to drain a blister, make sure your foot is clean and you
are in an environment that is as clean as possible. Use a
sterile needle to lance the blister and careful drain using gauze
to capture the fluid. If you make several lancing attempts
and can't get fluid out, do not resort to using a knife and
cutting the blister. Once drained cover with mole skin and
keep protected. If you have to hike on a freshly drained
blister, make sure it is well protected with mole skin and in warm
or wet environments, use duct tape to hold the mole skin in
place. Make sure to carry out all used medical supplies and
do not dispose of them by burning or burying. When you throw
out your used medical supplies, store them in a sealed plastic
bag. If a blister will not go away, or is so severe that
involves a major portion of your foot (or say an entire toe) you
should see a medical professional.